Ecuador: Snowden 'Not in Our Hands'

Correa backs farther away, says London consul made 'serious error'

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jun 30, 2013 10:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa says that National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden is "under the care of Russian authorities" and can't leave Moscow's international airport without his US passport. In an interview with the AP this morning, Correa said he had no idea Snowden's intended destination was Ecuador when he fled Hong Kong for Russia last week. He said the Ecuadorean consul in London committed "a serious error" without consulting any officials in Ecuador's capital when the consul issued a letter of safe passage for Snowden.

Correa said "the case is not in Ecuador's hands" and said Snowden must assume responsibility if he broke US laws. But Correa said the broader legitimacy of Snowden's action must be taken into consideration and Ecuador would still consider an asylum request. Correa's comments come after Joe Biden asked him to deny Snowden asylum, adds the Guardian, and are the latest sign that the country is backing away from him.

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa greets passersby from the balcony of the presidential palace, in Quito, Ecuador, Monday, June 24, 2013.   (Associated Press)
Ecuador's President Rafael Correa talks with journalist during a press conference in Quevedo, Ecuador, Thursday, June 27, 2013.   (AP Photo/ Ecuador's Presidential Press Office)
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